Enriching Your Puppy Vocabulary 8/26

(1) Rachel Keslensky has contributed a comic called The Saddest Puppy to Scenes From A Multiverse.

(2) Eric Flint – “Do We Really Have To Keep Feeding Stupid And His Cousin Ignoramus?”

So. Let me establish some Basic Facts:

Fact One. There is no grandiose, over-arching SJW conspiracy to deny right-thinking conservative authors their just due when it comes to awards. It does not exist. It has never existed. It is nothing but the fevered dreams which afflict some puppies in their sleep.

It is preposterous—there is no other word for it—to claim that there is some sort of systematic bias against conservatives in F&SF in the same year (2015) that the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America bestowed the title of Grand Master on Larry Niven and the liberal literary magazine the New Yorker ran a very laudatory article on the author Gene Wolfe.

Fact Two. There is no reflexive reactionary movement to drag F&SF kicking and screaming back into the Dark Ages when all protagonists had to be white and male (and preferably either engineers or military chaps). The very same people who piss and moan about diversity-for-the-sake-of-it litter their own novels with exactly the same kind of diversity they deplore when their opponents do it.

Yeah, I know they’ll deny it. “The story always comes first!” But the fact is that there is no compelling plot function to Ringo’s inclusion of the gay couple in Under a Graveyard Sky. So why did he put them in the novel? The answer is that, like any good writer—and whatever my (many) political disagreements with John, he’s a damn good writer—he tries to embed his stories into the world he created for them. The world of Black Tide Rising is the modern world, and his novels reflect that—as they should.

And I defy anyone with a single honest bone in their body—just one; even a pinkie bone—to read his depiction of that gay couple and tell the world afterward that he’s a homophobe. Which is not to say, mind you, that John and I would agree on any number of issues that come up around the question of LGBT rights. But that’s a separate matter.

There are real disagreements and divisions lying at the heart of the Recent Unpleasantness. But I wish to hell people would dump the stupid stereotypes so we could get on with a serious discussion and debate.

Fact Three. Yes, there is a problem with the Hugo awards, but that problem can be depicted in purely objective terms without requiring anyone to impute any malign motives to anyone else. In a nutshell, the awards have been slowly drifting away from the opinions and tastes of the mass audience, to the point where there is today almost a complete separation between the two. This stands in sharp contrast to the situation several decades ago, when the two overlapped to a great extent. For any number of reasons, this poses problems for the awards themselves. The Hugos are becoming increasingly self-referential, by which I mean they affect and influence no one except the people who participate directly in the process.

That said, however, as I spent a lot of time in my first essay analyzing—see “Some comments on the Hugos and other SF awards”—the causes of the problem are complex and mostly objective in nature. There is no easy fix to the problem. There is certainly no quick fix. Most of all, there is no one to blame—and trying to find culprits and thwart the rascals does nothing except make the problem worse.

(3) More backstory on the Lamplighter/Nielsen Hayden encounter.

(4) John ONeill in a comment to Jeffro Johnson on Black Gate

> Please tell me more about this cost to peoples’ careers and reputations.

> I can see in the context that you think it should be glaringly obvious, but it isn’t clear to me.


There are multiple aspects to it, obviously, but let me dwell on those that seemed instantly obvious back in April.

First, don’t piss off your audience. As I’ve said many times, the Hugo electorate don’t like to be dictated to. Their response to the Puppy ballot was entirely predictable — they were going to (fairly or unfairly) reject the whole thing out of hand. It didn’t take any great insight to see that, even back in April.

When it happened to us, the temptation was strong to accept the nomination anyway, and then spend the next four months lobbying for a fair shake. But that’s a fool’s game, because almost no one is paying attention… and anyway, most voters made up their mind the instant they heard about the slate. There was just no way we were going to be able to reach the bulk of voters.

Accepting the nomination, and becoming part of the Puppy slate, meant we were going to get spanked, and hard. The Hugo electorate was pissed off, and there was nothing we could say to them that would mitigate that.

Now, plenty of Puppies tried — and tried hard — to make their case in the intervening four months. I paid attention, and I thought several did a great job. So much so that, just as I said in my Sunday article, I began to doubt my initial prediction, and believed that a compelling majority of Hugo voters would give the Puppies a fair shake, and vote on the merits.

Nope. In the end, nothing we nominees said made any difference. The Hugo electorate spanked the Puppies, and hard, for the crime of being a slate, and threatening the integrity of the awards.

So, now that it’s over, how has being a losing Puppy nominee damaged reputations and careers?

The answer is twofold. One, you’re a loser. You lost out to “No Award.” That’s only happened 10 times in Hugo history… and half of them were on Sunday.

Second, rightly or wrongly, the nominees are branded as Puppies, and right now that’s a losing brand. It may not be a losing brand forever, but from the looks of the Hugo voting, it sure ain’t a brand that the majority of Hugo voters look kindly on.

There are things the nominees can do, of course — continue to produce good work. continue to network, and continue to make their case.

But I think the evidence of the past four months is pretty compelling: no one is listening. You were part of a slate that was loudly and very successfully repudiated by fandom, and that’s all they need to know to form a negative opinion.

(5) Vox Day on Vox Popoli

[Warning about insults of GRRM in post title and content]

It’s amusing how the SJWs in science fiction are claiming five awardless categories as a win while simultaneously trying to figure out how to prevent it from happening again next year. And, Martin demonstrates the truth of the observation SJWs Always Lie, as he tells a whopper about Toni Weisskopf when he claims she would “almost certainly have been nominated anyway, even if there had been no slates”. The fact is Toni Weisskopf never even came CLOSE to being nominated prior to Sad Puppies 1. In 2012, she finished in 14th place. In 2011, 10th. In 2010, 11th. She wasn’t even trending in the right direction! Without the Puppies, she would never, ever, have received a nomination and the data shows that the 2015 Long Form nominees would have been virtually identical to the pre-Puppy years, including the aforementioned Liz Gorinsky, Beth Meacham, to say nothing of the Torlock who lobbied for the creation the award so he and his fellow Tor editors could finally win something, Patrick Nielsen Hayden.

(6) Tasha Robinson on NPR – “How The Sad Puppies Won – By Losing”

As The Guardian put it in a triumphant post-awards headline, “Diversity wins as the Sad Puppies lose at the Hugo awards.”

Unfortunately, that isn’t true. The Puppy bloc — estimated as about 19 percent of the overall voters, according to a Chaos Horizon vote analysis — didn’t win any Hugos. But it did win the day. The group successfully prevented a wide variety of other content from making it to the finalist list. Sites like io9 have examined the initial Hugo nominees voting and assembled an alternate ballot, showing the top vote recipients, which would have been finalists in a Puppy-free year. They include strong Short Story candidates like Ursula Vernon’s “Jackalope Wives” and Amal El-Mohtar’s “The Truth About Owls.” A year where No Award beat out eligible, worthy material is hard to count as a victory.

And the Puppies didn’t just dominate the finalist slate, they dominated the conversation for the entire convention. They forced everyone at WorldCon to acknowledge them and their agenda, and to take sides in the conflict or work around them. They turned the 2015 Hugos into an openly cynical referendum not about which works were best, but about whose politics and tactics were best. Any vote-based system can be seen as a popularity contest and a tactical war, but the Puppies made this year’s Hugos about those things and nothing else.

They got their noses rapped at the awards ceremony. But losing an awards statue isn’t the same as losing the conversation.And they did so in the most openly derisive manner possible. Puppy defenders have often made the offensive, judgmental and depressingly self-absorbed argument that voters couldn’t possibly actually like works by or about women, trans people, gay people, writers of color and so forth. Clearly, the argument claims, people could only vote for those works out of a misguided social-justice agenda. Until this year, the best argument that Hugo voters really were voting for their favorite works (and not to push an agenda) was the range of material nominated on the first ballot, reflecting the variety of tastes that creates such a wide and scattered speculative-fiction field.

Now that voters have seen that following their hearts will just get their candidates shut out of consideration, they’re more likely to want to build slates and promote agendas, to prevent another ballot filled with finalists they can’t stomach. Over the weekend, WorldCon organizers approved a series of changes to the Hugo nominee rules to help prevent bloc domination of the ballot. But those changes won’t go into effect until 2017, assuming they’re ratified at the 2016 WorldCon.

Still, the Puppies lost in some ways, beyond the straight question of who got the awards. Their tactics rallied voters who haven’t paid attention to the process in years, and guaranteed their interest and involvement in 2016 and for the immediate future. And by creating a straight-up duel between politically aligned poles, then losing it by a wide margin, they disproved their claims that they were the silent majority, the populists being unfairly ruled by a minority of elitists. They got their noses rapped at the awards ceremony. But losing an awards statue isn’t the same as losing the conversation. And the conversation certainly isn’t over. It — and the Puppies — are just getting started

(7) Abigail Nussbaum on Asking The Wrong Questions – “The 2015 Hugo Awards: Thoughts on the Results”

If the puppies had truly represented “real” fandom, then “real” fandom would have turned up to vote for the nominees they put on the ballot.  Instead, the people who voted were, overwhelmingly, thoroughly pissed off and eager to kick some puppy ass.  The Hugo is a popular vote award, and what that means is that while it can be manipulated, it can’t be stolen.  It belongs to whoever turns up to vote, and in 2015 the people who turned up to vote wanted nothing to do with the puppies’ politics and tactics.  Despite the puppies’ loudest claims to the contrary, 3,000 voters are not a cabal or a clique.  They are the fandom. I’d like to believe that there are enough people among the puppy voters who are capable of seeing this.  There’s been some debate today about what percentage of the Hugo voters actually represent puppies.  This analysis by Chaos Horizon suggests that there were 500 Rabid Puppy voters, and 500 Sad Puppy voters.  That’s a big enough number to suggest that we could be looking at a repeat of this dance next year–another puppy-dominated ballot, another fannish outrage, another puppy shutout at the voting phase.  But to my mind, the real question is: how many of those thousand voters are willing to do that?  How many of them would rather destroy the Hugo than see it go to someone they disapprove of?  How many of them are able to ignore the undeniable proof that they’ve maxed out their support within the community, and that there simply aren’t enough Gamergate trolls to make up the difference?

I’d like to believe that those people are not the majority.  That there are among puppy voters people who can grasp that if you want to win a Hugo, the simplest and easiest way to do it is to play by the same rules as everyone else: write and publicize good, worthwhile work, and do so with a genuine love for the award, not the contempt and resentfulness that characterized the puppies’ behavior this year.

The truth is–and this is something that we’ve all lost sight of this year–no matter how much the puppies like to pretend otherwise, the Hugo is not a progressive, literary, elitist award.  It’s a sentimental, middle-of-the-road, populist one.  I rarely like the shortlists it throws up, and am often frustrated by the excellent work that it ignores.  In fact, looking at this year’s would-have-been nominees, I see some work that I loved–Aliette de Bodard’s “The Breath of War,” Carmen Maria Machado in the Campbell Award category–but on the whole it feels like a very safe, unexciting ballot that I would probably have complained about quite a bit if it had actually come to pass.  And for all the crowing about this year’s winners being a victory for those who love the Hugos, some of them–particularly in the Best Novelette and Best Fan Writer categories–send as message that is, to my mind, far from progressive.  (Full disclosure: this year’s nominating breakdowns reveal that, if it hadn’t been for the puppies, I would have been nominated in the Best Fan Writer category.  I don’t think I would have won, and all things considered I’m glad that I was out of that mess this year, but it’s worth acknowledging.)  It’s not that I’ve never felt the desire to burn the whole edifice down, the way the puppies say they do.  The difference is that I never thought that exasperation could be used to justify actually doing it.

(8) Gregory G. Hullender offers his translation of a French news article about the Puppies on Greg’s Reflections: My Adventures Reading in a Foreign Language.

Part of the fun of reading a foreign language is getting a very different perspective on issues. As a science-fiction fan, I’ve been curious what the Europeans would make of this year’s “Sad Puppy” affair. Sure enough, I found an article about it in Le Monde, the French “newspaper of record.”

(9) Allan Davis on LewRockwell.com “We Had To Burn The Hugos To Save Them”

Over 1200 people voted for Toni Weisskopf.  750 more voted for Sheila Gilbert, and 200 for Anne Sowards, all in the Best Long Form Editor category.  Over two thousand people voted in good faith for the people that they thought deserved that award.  And 2500 members of the High Church of Science Fiction–the ruling faction that believes it gets to determine who is, and who is not, a “true fan” of the genre–declared that those two thousand opinions were not welcome and their votes do not count. The SJW ruling faction of science fiction fandom, who pride themselves on their diversity, tolerance, and inclusiveness, won this year’s battle against the Puppies using their preferred weapons of intolerance and exclusion.

(10) Sharrukin’s Palace

Seriously. What did they expect was going to happen?

I’m not going to pretend that everyone has been behaving well in opposing the Puppies. There’s no denying that two of the prominent Puppies are extremely toxic figures, but the worst thing I can say about most of them is that they’re rather clueless. Folks like Lou Antonelli, Larry Correia, Sarah Hoyt, and Brad Torgersen are due some pretty strong criticism for their actions, but they don’t deserve some of the outright slander that they’ve been getting.

That having been said, did any of these folks really think that a community in which they’ve spent months or years violating long-established social norms, and loudly insulting pretty much everyone, was going to react with praise, respect, and silver rockets?

(11) embrodski on Death Is Bad “Puppies – All Bark, No Bite”

The fact remains that the puppy supporters were excited to vote a slate so they could hijack the Hugos for their self-aggrandizement. And as I predicted in “Why Vandals?” none of them bothered to show up for the actual party. If the party was left just to them, they’d have a nearly empty convention hall and no one to run it. They do not care about the con, or the people who attend it. They didn’t attend the business meeting to try to make things better. They didn’t put forward any bids to host the 2018 WorldCon. That they didn’t try to further mar the convention by ruining things in person isn’t a mark of civility, it’s simply the modus operandi for internet cowards.

It really dawned on me just how worthless the Puppies are when I went to the business meeting, and during the watching of the fan-recognition part of the award ceremony. These are people, later on in their years, who have been SF/F fans for significantly longer than I’ve even been alive. They’ve spent *decades* of work putting together these conventions. They are dedicated, and in love. They aren’t the authors, they don’t get the accolades themselves. They’re just passionate about SF. I really came to realize how much WorldCon is by and for the fans. I was very disappointed that more puppies didn’t come to the con in person. I was very disappointed that ALL the puppies didn’t come to the con in person! They would have seen that joy and passion for themselves. Maybe that is part of the reason why the puppy supporters who did come didn’t boo or shout or try to disrupt anything. They saw the love and the passion for themselves, and couldn’t bring themselves to be assholes any more. The ones who stayed home, safe behind their keyboards – they are the ones who will continue to be dicks. Because they were cowards, and wouldn’t come to see what they were vandalizing in person. Assholery feeds on cowardice, which leads to further assholery, in a neat little circle. It’s fitting.

(12) Aaron Pound on Dreaming of Other Worlds – “Biased Opinion: 2015 Hugo Awards Post-Mortem”

In the Long Form Editor category, Beale instructed his minions to vote for Toni Weisskopf first, and placed himself further down his instructional list. Despite this, 166 voters placed Beale first on their ballots, putting him ahead of Jim Minz, who only got 58 first place nods.

(13) Howard Tayler on Schlock Mercenary – “Sasquan Report”

My heart goes out to those who did not win awards this year, especially those whose work missed being on the ballot because of the hijacked slate. Their work will stand independently of this, however, and needs neither my pity nor the validation of the short-list. As a former Hugo loser, I know that it stings, but I also know that you’ve got to keep making stuff regardless of what happens with awards. I kept making Schlock Mercenary for five years after it started not winning Hugo awards. It still hasn’t won, and I’m still making it today.

Just as awards shouldn’t validate your decision to create art, they shouldn’t have any bearing on how you feel about the art you consume. Reading in particular is a deeply personal, intimate act. An award on a book is like a sticker on a banana: it might help you pick the banana, but if you eat the sticker you’re doing it wrong.

(14) Jennifer Brozek – “About the Hugo Awards in Interview Form”

Q: Now that the Hugos are over, how do you feel?

A: I feel fine.

Q: Really?

A: Yes, really. Yes, of course I’m sad I didn’t win—it was a beautiful award and I worked really hard. I wanted to win, but as I said on twitter, I’m happy people voted the way they felt they needed to. There are other nominations and other Hugos. All voices need to be heard. I don’t want to dwell on anything else. It’s done for me.

Q: What about the numbers?

A: The numbers came out exactly as I thought they would. Without “No Award,” Mike Resnick would’ve won.

Q: What about the nomination numbers, discounting the slates?

A: I saw that I probably would’ve been 6th or 7th nomination place in Best Editor, Short Form. Respectable. More importantly, I saw that CHICKS DIG GAMING got 92 nomination votes in the Best Related Work category—second only to Jo Walton’s WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK SO GREAT. Which meant, incidentally, I lost a second time on Hugo night. I lost an Alfie to Jo. Still, that means I probably would’ve been nominated for a Hugo whether there was a slate or not. So, I’m feeling pretty good about things.

(15) David Gerrold on Facebook

First, the offer to buy him [Lou Antonelli] a beer was made before he wrote his letter to the Spokane police chief. After he wrote that letter, that promise was not one I wanted to keep at Worldcon.

Second, my exact words were: “Lou, I might have forgiven you. That doesn’t mean I want to talk to you.” I am quite certain about what I said. I have forgiven him. I just didn’t know then and don’t know now what I want to say to him.

Which is why I said what I said — not to be rude, but to avoid a situation for which I was unprepared, a situation where I might say something inappropriate, something that might exacerbate an already unfortunate situation.

I did recognize that Lou’s intentions were peaceful, but that moment was neither the time nor the place. There were too many people watching both of us, many of them still upset or concerned. There were too many possibilities for Russian telephone.

It is possible that at some time in the future, Lou and I will be able to sit down and talk together, but it cannot happen while so many people are still feeling raw.

I do ask that everyone drop the subject. I do not want Lou to be the target of anyone’s internet jihad. He made a mistake. He apologized. I accepted his apology. I just didn’t want to get into that situation then. I do not want to rehash it endlessly.

(16) Arthur Chu on Salon – “The scifi fans are alright: I saw the future at the Hugo Awards – and it will never belong to the tox right-wing trolls”

My experience talking about social issues in geeky fandom online is one of constant attacks and sniping and arguing and “controversy”. If you clicked on the #HugoAwards hashtag Saturday night you could see a steady stream of 4chan-style obscenities, slurs and assorted nastiness from people not present.

But in person? To paraphrase the great Bill Hicks, I saw a lot of division among convention attendees about the Sad Puppies “movement”; people who viewed the movement with frustrated rage and people who viewed the movement with bemused pity.

There were, to be sure, plenty of personal beefs and political differences. I met many people I’d argued with online about various topics. Plenty of people had negative things to say about the response to the Sad Puppies, saying that other people had been too harsh or too hostile or too unhelpful in tone.

But defending the Puppies’ actions? Not a single person I met took that stance. The “controversy” didn’t exist outside the Internet. Everyone across the spectrum was united by sheer astonishment at how assholish the move to game the nominations was.

[Thanks to Andrew Trembley, John King Tarpinian and Greg Hullender for some of these links.]

732 thoughts on “Enriching Your Puppy Vocabulary 8/26

  1. Not only that, but didn’t Heinlein explicitly write it as propaganda to support the continuation of the US nuclear testing program?

    I don’t know, but let me tell you, after seeing the film, the book was an awful let-down, which was a novel experience, if nothing else.

  2. @SocialInjusticeWorrier Given that I apparently always lie, which has to affect a syllogism based on my statements, I’d guess you’re correct.

  3. I’m a bit baffled by Hoyt’s assertion that she uses words in her blog that she doesn’t know the meaning of. OK, I get the English as a second language, but just what?

  4. Also, as we’ve apparently all been called neo-Nazis—even I, who physically fought neo-Nazis (here and here)—I suppose the thing to do now is boycott the publisher of the author who so demeaned us.

    Unfortunately, I’ve never bought anything from Kate Paulk’s publisher in the first place. Oh well!

  5. @Will R

    @SIW It does get confusing, doesn’t it?

    I guess that’s what happens when you engage with The Liar’s Platypus.

  6. John Seavey on August 27, 2015 at 4:39 pm said:

    If you (or anyone else for that matter) do follow the links all the way through to stories, a couple of not-bad places to start might be “Look What the Cat Dragged In”, “God Save the Queen”, “The Reflex”, or “Trigger Happy”. They’re at least nominally SFF, albeit with adult elements, and the first one is pretty funny if I do say so myself. (The first two are fantasy, the last two are SF.)

    Thanks for the recs! I haven’t begun reading yet (big long day!), but I did follow the link through to the big list of stories and wanted to tell you how much I love that all (most?) of the title are song titles.

  7. @Ann Somerville: Thanks to all of you who spoke up about the sexist insults

    You’re most welcome. But I didn’t do it for a cookie, and wouldn’t want people thinking I was white-knighting you. ;->

  8. @Mark Dennehy: Yes, IIRC ‘Freemen on the Land’ is one of the synonyms. In general, if you find people using archaic language in bizarre but aggressive non-sensical legalistic paperwork aimed at confounding USA state, local, or Federal officials, 99 times out of 100, it’s a SovCit.

    I don’t want to burden Our Good Host’s site with a long origin story about the SovCits, but in a sense they’re an elaboration on the pre-existing social cult of tax protesters, and key notions include the illegitimacy of all government officials higher than a county sheriff, the supposedly puissant powers of certain screwball filings with government officials (exempting the filer from government oversight; this is the origin of the term ‘Sovereign Citizen’), and the abuse of fraudulent quitclaim deeds to seize other people’s real estate and and fraudulent court filings.

    I would speculate that what has really fueled this reality-challenged political movement is the last few decades’ tsunami of foreclosures. Imagine a desperate homeowner or business owner going through real estate seizure. He/she hears from a friend that filing some magic paperwork will foil the ability of creditors to foreclose, and that other magic paperwork can assert ownership over other people’s property and gain control of it. They read a few tracts, attend a few seminars, and they’re sold.

    If you wish to know more, feel welcome to send me e-mail.

    Yes, I can well imagine that ‘Eire’ sounds archaic; I’ll confess I’ve long simply liked the sound of it. But thank you.

  9. @MRK thanks for the explanation

    Anyone reckon that Hoyt has realised that she’s over using MARXIST! and is looking for a set of alternatives to use for the SP4 campaign?

  10. Rick: I know several police officers who have ended up in interminable (and interminably stupid) lawsuits and had liens and attempted quitclaims used against them. It’s one of those “oh crap” moments when you start to interact with someone on a traffic stop or a call to a domestic and they start spouting that language. (Step one: take a step back, deep calming breath, start a supervisor…)

  11. Google have a tool called the N-gram Viewer that graphs the use of words in all the books over time. Not attempting to prove anything one way or another, just thinking it would be an interesting exercise, I fed it the words “Chicom”, “ChiCom” and “chicom” (it’s case-sensitive) for the period from 1950 to 2005 (the function doesn’t work beyond 2008) and got this.

    So the peak popularity of the word in print was in the mid to late sixties, more-or-less fell out of fashion in the seventies and eighties, then rose a bit in the nineties and into the Naughties. No telling if it’s become more popular in the last decade, or if it’s become a dog-whistle word, still less who’s insulted or mystified by its application, but still an interesting bit of data.

  12. Jim Henley — Oh, of course! I wondered what that drop was caused by. “Only Nixon can go to China.”

  13. Late to the party. I will never be caught up.

    Hoyt clearly intended Chicom as a slur. Tut-tutting over whether MRK correctly identified the type of slur is just a bit precious.

    It’s a good thing I had already put the cup down and swallowed when I read the description of The Pratt’s masterpiece.

    Of course Scalzi is recording the audio version. That was a foregone conclusion as soon as he announced the conditions under which he would do so.

    Now off to try, futilely, to catch up.

  14. Lis Carey:

    Tut-tutting over whether MRK correctly identified the type of slur is just a bit precious.

    Except that it’s right at the crosshairs of the type of cultural conflict that’s spawned this whole Puppy thing.

    If somebody merely said to Sarah Hoyt, “You were insulting,” she might have agreed she intended to be.

    When somebody says she’s insulting in a way that defines her as a racist — voila, Puppy time.

  15. @Mike Glyer

    Call me cynical, but after a few goes at reading Hoyt’s particular brand of outrage (hydrophobia in particular), but I suspect she would have spun it that way anyway. The wording just made it easy.

  16. We should always make it difficult.

    Hoyt sure seems jealous of Kowal though with that looong post and its presumed familiarity.

  17. Hoyt as also revealed that MRK left her messages in the comments of both this post and the last one, and Hoyt hasn’t let them out of moderation. So, yeah, she deliberately wrote her second post in the knowledge that her target had modified her position, but ignored that for better mockage.

    I do agree with Mike that there’s no benefit in going for “big targets” like claims of racism when there’s so much tasty underbelly of unambiguous politicised stupidity instead.

  18. @Mark

    The Puppy position on free speech and openness of viewpoints is, as always, fascinating.

  19. In an Inigo Montoya moment for Hoyt, ChiCom, when it was in common contemporary use, referred not just to the party or government, but frequently the entire People’s Republic of China, including conscripts, munitions, etc. Judging from Google, contemporary usage seems to be mostly retrospective and historical.

  20. Puppies are fascinated by military/security lingo. The other day one was bragging that the Puppies had put an end to fans being able to get on the ballot with a handful of votes. I pointed him to this year’s stats (which he had read, mind you, but not close(, and how few votes were required to get nominated in certain categories, and he eagerly shared that he would soon share this “intelligence” with the SP4 organizers to “fix” the problem.

  21. @Nick Mamatas:

    Puppies are fascinated by military/security lingo. The other day one was bragging that the Puppies had put an end to fans being able to get on the ballot with a handful of votes. I pointed him to this year’s stats (which he had read, mind you, but not close(, and how few votes were required to get nominated in certain categories, and he eagerly shared that he would soon share this “intelligence” with the SP4 organizers to “fix” the problem.

    Ooh, bad opsec there, Ni – doh!

  22. @IanP

    Don’t give up on Heinlein just because of Sail Beyond The Sunset!

    As a huge Heinlein fan, I’ll be the first to admit that book sucked, it was after the brain eater got him. Try Double Star, or The Moon is a Harsh Mistress instead.

  23. Abi Sutherland once linked to a Canadian judge’s document which (in the course of rendering an opinion on a divorce case) magisterially dissected all the “Sovereign Citizen” / “Freeman-on-the-land” stuff. He calls them “Organized Pseudo-legal Commercial Arguments”, or OPCA’s. The document is quite long, but I found it interesting reading.

    On the Joe Doakes challenge: am I really the only one here who has read all 42?
    IMO the old list has 8 solid hits, 9 good books that for whatever reason didn’t grab me as hard, 1 well-regarded classic that I’ve always thought was dull, and 2 that are fairly poor by any reasonable standard. The new list has 9 solid hits, 9 good books that didn’t grab me as hard, 1 that was well-written but which lost my suspension of disbelief, and 3 that I thought were poor (but better than the 2 from the older list).

    So, as with others, I don’t find any noticeable dropoff in quality.

    (The 1’s are Ringworld and The City and the City, respectively. I’m not going to tell you which ones are in the 2/3 category, though you may be able to guess at a couple.)

  24. Pingback: Amazing Stories | AMAZING NEWS of FANDOM: 8/30/15 - Amazing Stories

  25. ObPuppySlates:

    I’m torn amongst:
    #inallmodesty Puppies
    Mensa Puppies
    Spam, Spam, Spam, Egg and Spam Puppies
    You Will Again Be Having Kittens Puppies

    It’s so difficult to choose. I will have to let you know later.

    I am, in all modesty, one of the most indecisive undeciders not deciding today…

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